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Social Networks: Pros And Cons Essay

1468 words - 6 pages

PRO Social Networking Sites
1. Social networking sites allow people to create new relationships and reconnect with friends and family. Increased communication, even online, strengthens relationships.
2. Social networking sites allow for creative expression in a new medium. They provide free messaging, blogging, photo storage, games, event invitations, and many other services to anyone with access to a computer and the Internet.
3. Social networking sites bring people with common interests together, offer exposure to new ideas from around the world, and lower inhibitions to overcome social anxiety. People who have a difficulty communicating in person are more comfortable ...view middle of the document...

[3]
7. Studies have shown that being part of a social network has a positive impact, including increased quality of life and a reduction in the risk of health problems. They help improve stroke recovery, memory retention, and overall well-being. [4]
8. Internet users have larger social networks than non-users, and using social networking sites to maintain those relationships facilitates more face-to-face interaction. Internet users are augmenting their offline social networks, not replacing them. [5]
9. Social media can be a powerful tool for social change and an alternative to more traditional methods of communication. During the protests of the Iranian election in June 2009, protestors used Twitter to circumvent government control over phones and the media. Twitter was so important that the US State Department asked Twitter to delay a network upgrade that would have taken the website offline at a busy time of day in Iran. Twitter complied and rescheduled the downtime to 1:30 am Tehran time. The ability to remain anonymous helped protect people who were spreading information in real time.
10. To make social networking sites safer for children, the sites have minimum age requirements and default settings based on the user's age to protect children. MySpace, for example, requires users to be at least 14 years old, and the profiles of all users under the age of 16 are automatically set to "private" so they cannot be found during a general search.
11. Social media sites are expanding from general interest to more specific uses that benefit society. For example, sites have been created for medical purposes such as dealing with life altering diseases, alcoholism, drug addiction, weight loss, and autism. Social networking sites with a specific focus help introduce people to others who are dealing with similar issues and provide information, contacts, peer support, and encouragement.

CON Social Networking Sites
1. Social networking sites entice people to spend more time online and less time interacting face-to-face. The sites offer many time wasting activities that supplant more productive activities. Teens spend an average of nine hours per week on social networking sites (950 KB) . [22]
2. Teens growing up with these sites may not be aware that the information they post is public and that photos and text can be retrieved even after deletion. Consequences from over-sharing personal information include vulnerability to sexual or financial predators and lost job opportunities from employers finding embarrassing photos or comments.
3. Social networking sites have no way to verify that people are who they claim to be, leaving people vulnerable to solicitations from online predators who are able to mask their true identities. In Feb. 2009, MySpace identified 90,000 registered sex offenders with profiles on the site, while Facebook declined to reveal how many were present on its site. Even if the sites agree to remove sex...

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